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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 21, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EDT

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there is on medicare on tax reform. if the only problem with this consensus is that the president and senate democrats are not part of that carried the president gave us a budget that said raise tax rates and add more loopholes off. more complexity, higher tax rates, that leads to more cronyism and less economic growth. we are saying keep the revenue base line as it is but replace this tax code we have which is extremely complex. it is the result of both political parties leaving it up. the one part i would talk about is this. they are not corporations. the president is saying he wants is a good of 48.4%. where i come from overseas, they
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distort it to 15%. how can we compete? where taxing them at 45%. what they want to do is let's do this out from. >> we do not propose the revenue lost. that shows where revenues are. we do not assume for what is in store. we propose to raise taxes.
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we propose to give tax revenues the same time by treating everybody fairly so we can have a more taxes. >> the tax code is 25%. >> when you get one point to 1.3e trillion schatzker -- trillion? it makes the other mandatories looks bigger. the president tries to reclassify some spending. that is an issue where they're trying to speak many more things. they decide which ones they say.
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>> i've been writing this for a long time. you get rid of all. we are talking about this. >> they will demand the balance in 10 years. what is your response to them? >> he could beat them. if you put this budget through, it is a much more reasonable one. we must use the cbo base line. >> here is the problem. they assume a $4 trillion tax evasion. they assume the economy goes down. we have to use that baseline.
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we have to use this that assumes bad economic policies that is baked into the yardstick. it takes a longer time to balance. you can balance within that timeframe. >> you kind of glossed over the other mandatory ones. these are unlike anything he proposed last year. are you going up over their stance? >> it says let's take those principles for extremely successful.
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they can customize these benefits. we also proposed agricultural reform. we proposed federal employee reforms. they should have to pay half of the pension themselves. there is about 100 pages here which are food stamp reforms, welfare reform. i can go on and on the best. >> this is not part of it. >> it has been cut $12 billion. most of the folks who are
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working on that paid to reduce the spending. >> we are asking them to decide exactly how to do this. this is all the area with in the title. it is what chairman lucas will have to come up with. do it think you get more reform out of it? yes, i do. in east to come from direct payments. this is exactly how they do that. >> how much does your plan save medicare? >> it saves medicare from bankruptcy over the long term. these benefits do not change for people 55 and above. we do propose liability reform
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which stays in medicare by repealing obamacare. we also agree with the president on the means test their >> i just want to follow up on the question. do you see the issues in this budget as the central issue? do you expect the republican nominee to be campaigning? >> i expect the republican nominee to offer the country be the legitimate -- the country the legitimate choice. if we have a debt crisis, the people that get hurt the first are the poor and the elderly.
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i expect my nominee to talk about how he proposes to fix this problem. problemill the minority in america. we are printing out our path to prosperity. we will show the country here is an alternative path. its is the path we belabelieve shows an idea. it provides a safety net. it is for people carry getting back on their feet. did we do not want to turn it into a hammock. this strange them of their will. we are sharpening the contrast between the path we are proposing and the path that the president has pace just begun -- has placed us on.
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i have spoken to all of these guys. they believe we are heading in the right direction. we are proposing a trigger. it says when we conclude that social security is and solvents, and the havoc by both congress and the administration. if we do nothing, we are often foster unreserve. we believe congress needs to act. we have given a trigger that requires congress to do that. one issue is that they check social security outside of reconciliation. it cannot be reconciled. the need to have a 60 votes --
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you need to have a 60 vote incentive. >> isn't this an example that triggers don't often work? >> they work if you can pass them. none of this worst of the senate decides to budget. have you ever seen a bill on capitol hill? the passage in the house. you reconcile it together. it ends that the senate continues to do nothing. they did not do a budget in 2010. now they're saying they will not do it in 2012. we think this is wrong.
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you have got picked over twice. >> is this a reference to hr5? >> yes. that is what we are proposing here. thank you, everybody. we appreciate it. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> kent conrad also talk to reporters about the 2015 but it and gave his reaction to congressman ryan's proposal. this is 15 minutes.
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>> is everybody ready? i am here to discuss the budget resolution that i will file in this senate laterlater today. it is the levels agreed to by the congress and presidents. it allows the appropriation committee to proceed with their work for next year. it ensures the senate will have the tools to enforce those spending limits that we agree to on a bipartisan basis. i want to emphasize that we do have a budget. it is the law of the land.
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it was passed last year. it is in place. those who say we do not have a budget have either failed to pay attention to what they voted on or they are deliberately trying to mislead the public. the budget control act was passed by the house of representatives. it was passed by the united states senate on an overwhelming bipartisan vote. it is now the law of the land and establishes the key components of the budget for both 2012 and 2013. here is the language. it is very clear the budget control act is intended to serve for the budget for the 12 and 2013. it states, "for the purpose of enforcing the congressional budget act of 1974 through april 15, 2012, the allocations, aggregates, and levels set shall apply to the senate in the same manner as for a concurrent
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resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012." that same language is repeated for 2013. in many ways, the budget control act was even more extensive than a traditional budget resolution. number one, it has the force of law. on like a budget resolution that never goes to the president. all of you know a budget resolution is purely a congressional document. the budget control act is a law. number two, it sets caps for 10 years instead of the one year normally set in a budget resolution.
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it provided enforcement mechanisms including two years of the main resolutions which allow budget points of order to be enforced. fourth, it created a reconciliation dax like super committee process to address title men's and tax reform. it back that process up with a $1.20 trillion sequester. i think we can put to rest the claims that there is no budget in place or we have not enacted a budget. a budget was enacted for last year and this year. last week, we received cbo's updated budget estimates which allowed me to complete work on the deeming resolution for 2013. the filing of this resolution was required under the budget
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control act. i filed a similar resolution for 2012 back in september. the budget control act is crystal clear, that the spending limits in the resolution should be set at levels agreed to in the budget control act. again, here is the language taken directly from the law. "not later than april 15, 2012, the chairman shall file for the committee on appropriations committee allocations for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 consistent with discretionary spending limits set forth in this act." if it does not say at a level below the limits set forth in this act. it says at a level consistent with the limits set forth in the act.
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let's remember what these limits main. under the budget control act, spending caps that are put in place in the law, discretionary spending is cut by $900 billion below the bass line over the next 10 years. that is not including the sequester cuts. that is just the result of the budget control act spending limits. our house republican friends now seem to be walking away from these levels even though they agreed to them seven months ago. let's look at what they themselves said last summer. here is what the house budget committee chairman said on the house floor august 1, last year. -- >> so, last summer, our
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republican house colleagues were pleased to get 66% of what they wanted. on that basis, they made an agreement. the shock on its. and they passed it as law. now they are threatening to walk away from their agreement. its seems as though our house republican colleagues are on their own. because at least so far, the senate republican leadership has agreed we should keep to the spending limits that we agreed on last year. this is what senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said last month on the senate floor.
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"we already have that number. there is no good reason for this institution not to move forward with a process that avoids what we have done so frequently under both parties for years and years." the senate republican leader concluded, "i hope we can join together and do the basic work of government this year and do it in a timely fashion. i hope our house republican colleagues are listening." it is very clear we have a budget for this year and for next. that budget is in the law. rim in pursuance of that law
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filing the deeming resolution in the senate today that provides the numbers that the appropriators need to proceed with their work for the year. bca also sets the revenue levels and the mandatory spending levels for the year. again, i hope our house republican friends are listening. we still must come together on a longer-term plan to deal with the long term debt threat. about the short-term budget is in place. it is the law. it was included in the budget control act that they agreed to last summer. it provided for about $900 billion in discretionary spending cuts over the 10 years of that agreement. so the senate is proceeding with its business.
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i will be filing the deeming resolution for 2013 today and we will be moving forward with appropriations bills at all levels that everyone agreed to last year. house republicans i hope would do the same. if they fail to do so, they will threaten to shut down the government's and imperil the economic recovery. i am happy to answer questions that people might have. >> what the republicans say it is you have this massive sequester coming along. what they are doing is they are cutting $19 billion and they are also going to have a reconciliation process that would take care of some of the other cuts.
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you do not have any plan to deal with the sequester, or if you do, what is it? >> the first responsibility i have under the budget control act which is the law is to file the deeming resolution that sets the budget for this next year. i am doing that today. might be co-counsel tells me that meets the requirement and the responsibility for the budget committee to file a budget for this year by april 1. a longer-term plan, as i indicated, is what remains to be done. that has to be done in some bipartisan way. so i am hopeful that as we go through this year, we will find a way to do that. i will provide an outline of what i think makes sense as a long-term plan. the april 1 deadline has now been met. yeah? >> how do you deal with things -- the lockheed martin ceo spoke last week about the impact, that
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their suppliers might go belly up. how do you deal with that and when do you propose dealing with the larger deficit issue? >> what is provided for in the budget control act which everyone agreed to last year set the defense cannot non- defense firewall for this coming fiscal year. that is been decided. the question is sequestration which takes effect at the end of this year. that is what has to be addressed in some longer-term plan. i will propose a longer term plan at some point in the future. we are talking to colleagues about that now. the first requirement that i had was to meet that april 1
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deadline set out in the budget control act law, and i do that today. >> the conventional wisdom is that something would happen in the lame-duck but there is not that much time to get that done. >> that is why my own belief is -- we are in a very unusual situation and people are trapped by what they know from the past. in the past, we have dealt with budget resolutions. that is not what congress and the president did last year. in stead, we passed a budget control act. it gave me the response ability to lay out these numbers for the appropriators before april 15. it i have done that today.
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as i indicated in my statement, longer-term plan. the deadline has been met by what we found here today. what we need is a longer term plan. when is it most likely that the two sides can come together? i have many of my colleagues say that this is most likely after the election. and in not know the answer. we met the requirements for this year. when i make a judgment that we are in the best position to move forward, we will. >> house republicans are going
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to try to lower its. >> not that i know of. >> i really do not know what the key element is. the budget control act was lost. i was given their responsibility to file a budget by april 15. i have done that. the appropriators can now go to work. they are not limited. they are not restricted. that is the whole reason we have the requirement that i filed by april 1 they can get started. it provided the budget for this year.
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this is what is under the law. they have all the authorities they need. we have met the responsibility is for a budget. what i'm doing today discharge is their responsibility for the coming fiscal year. what we still need to do is to agree on a longer term plan that deals with our deficits. that is no longer tied to april.
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an agreement. many of my colleagues say they do not believe that will happen. my own belief is that we cannot wait until then to be working on a plan. for months i have been working on a plan. i have meetings with my colleagues. i have been working on a bipartisan plan. it is my wholhope for some times year that we will be able to have a comprehensive plan agreed to that deals with our long-term challenges. >> there are the numbers that are assigned.
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thank you. >> tomorrow, and ben bernanke and timothy geithner testify at a house hearing on the eurozone crisis. we will have live coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern. we expect it will go until about 1230 at which point we will switch over to the house budget committee as a work on the 2013 resolution. >> they began teaching it to households nationwide.
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>> you have to spoon feed them and say you can have all these things. they know better than that. you ought to say to them sure. no taxes spent. it is more honorable than borrowing. >> c-span, created by americans cable company as a public service. >> romney finished first among the republican candidates. he spoke to reporters and schaumburg and illinois.
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wow. thank you, an illinois. thank you so much. tomorrow is our anniversary. we will have been married 43 years so happy anniversary, sweetheart. a very big special for dan who was out here. we appreciate him. we spoke with him and we send our purrs. congressman -- woman biggers. he flew around with dan rutherford. and don bold. delegates. another thank you.
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i have to tonight because i did not get the chance to do this properly, i have to think our friends in puerto rico. we were treated so warmly, graciously, so loving. it was a great experience for us. thank you so much.
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his first lady, we love her. our committee woman and jose fuentes and all elected leaders. especially the delegates and volunteers for their support. thank you, puerto rico. now i get to see what is in my heart. we have been in a lot of states. we have gone through every part of this country and i am so moved by the people of this country that are counting on someone to go to washington and -- in their hands and fix it. everything that you are
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experiencing right here tonight, the sense we want to take this country back, we're feeling the strong strangling arm of government is invading every corner of our life. let me tell you something else. women are coming to me and saying, will you please talk about deficit spending in budgets? i am loving that. how women are angry, they're angry about the legacy we will leave their children and grandchildren and i will tell them something. i have someone here who can fix it. we will turn this over to the guy who can go and fix it. >> thank you. thank you. >> so many great friends at across illinois, what a night. thank you, illinois.
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what a night. i would like to congratulate my candidates on a hard-fought contest -- contest. i would like to thank our friends across the state. i appreciate their unwavering support. tonight we think the people of illinois for their vote and for this extraordinary victory. elections are about choices and today, hundreds of thousands of people in illinois have joined millions of people across the country to join our cause. this movement began, small farm
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in new hampshire on a sunny june day. we were surrounded by a small group of our friends and supporters and family. we shared a conviction the america we love was in trouble and a trip without strong leadership. three years of barack obama have brought as fewer jobs and
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shrinking paychecks but many of us believe we were in danger of losing something more than the value of our homes. after years of too many apologies and not enough jobs, historic drops in income and historic highs in gas prices, a president who does not hesitate -- had a lot of opportunities to
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learn about the free enterprise system. my dad did not graduate from college. he would tell me about his that he was a contractor. and never quite made it. he never gave up. he raised great kids. saar difficult times and were able to create a good return for investors and thousands of jobs and those jobs help families buy their first homes. those jobs put kids through school. this jobs help people live better lives.
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for 25 years, i lived and breathed business and the economy and jobs. i had successes and failures. each step of the way i learned more about what is that makes our american system so powerful. you cannot learn that teaching university of chicago. oil ramadayou cannot leave -- this president does not understand the genius of america's economy or the secret of the american economic success story. the american economy is fuelled by freedom. the master of the world has sean that economic freedom is the only force that is consistently lifting people out of poverty. it is the only principle that has been able to sustain prosperity but over the last three years, this
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administration has been engaged in an all-out assault on our freedom. under this president, bureaucrats prevent drilling rigs from going to work in the gulf, they keep from the mind. they impede the reliable supply of natural gas. they tell farmers what their kids are able to do on their farms. this demonstrations assault on our freedom has kept this so- called recovery from meeting their projections alone our expectations and now the president is trying to raise his record with new rhetoric. he said we are inventors, we are builders, we're makers of things. we're thomas edison with bill gates, we are steve jobs. he is still barack obama. bill andyou see on your barack obama) years he mentioned would have faced a difficult time trying to innovate and invent and invest and create jobs.
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nell and into could shoot a picture of the with people that, silicon and did not asunder dodd-frank that would have found it impossible to get a loan from their community bank and the regulators would have shut down the right brothers for dust pollution and the government would have banned thomas edison's light bulb. they just did. now i know the real cost of these misguided policies, these little devil attacks on economic freedom, senate sustained the
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up shut down the right brothers and this intrusion of the government a terrible event, and like all of weight they just did into our freedom, the cost of that are the ideas that are not pursued and the dreams that are not realized. milantherefore all the businesses that do not get started and the workers who do not get hired. for centuries, the american dream has meant to the opportunity to build something new. some of america's greatest success stories are people live started out with nothing but a good idea in a corner of their garage. too often today, americans who want to start a business, they do not see promise and opportunity, they see government standing in the way and i will change that. we will get government out of the way.
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what once build an interstate and build the pipeline. one of the evidence as assistant and who with an adbut once led the world in market of five lead manufacturing and exports, investment. today we lead the world in lawsuits. do not replace a harvard law in newark that a harvard law professor professor with of businessman? serving-- a conservative businessman. businesses in foodi think you know this. every great innovation, every world changing business breakthrough begins with the dream and nothing is more fragile than a dream. the genius of america is that we nurture those dreams and the dreamers. we honor them. and yes, we reward them. that is what is uniquely brilliant. day-by-day, job killing
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regulation by job killing regulation, bureaucrat by a bureaucrat, this president is crushing the dream and the dreamers and i will make sure that finally ends. approve -- the proof -- [no audio] the war ofbecause the stimulus was not large enough. the truth is, the government is too big. you and i know something the a lot of president still has not learned. after three years and hundreds of billions of dollars. it is not the government that creates our prosperity. the prosperity of america is the product of free markets and
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free people and they must be protected. tonight was a primary. he hit the lwe're going to face a decision as a people. our choice might be about party or personality. andthis election will be about principles. economic freedom will be on the ballot. i'm offering you a real choice. the the good and whoi am running for president because i have the experience and the vision to get us out of this mass. and live less the cost of debt [applause] live-in getwe know what barack
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obama's vision is. my vision is different. i see in america [inaudible] will be better than those we enjoyed. the pursuit of success will unite us. ofnot divide us. i see in america where the values we pass on our > the five debts will leave them. to move-- to roar children are -- to yeah so the of a our children are greater than the debts we will leave them. i see an america that is humbled -- humble but it is never humbled, that leads but is
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never led. so unquestionably strong that no one in the world would ever think of testing the might of our military. today we took an important step toward that america. tomorrow we will take another. hd we move closer not just to victory but to a better. join us. together we're going to ensure
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that america is greatest days are still ahead. thank you. god bless that -- the united states of america. ♪ ♪ [playing "born free" by kidd
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> mitt romney opponent rick santorum finished in second
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place in the illinois primary with 1/3 of the total vote. he spoke to supporters and gettysburg for 25 minutes. ♪ ♪ >> thank you. thank you. thank you. it's great to be back in a sylvania -- pennsylvania. i know that they're not going to be hearing me, but i feel so bad. we have 1000-1500 people that could not get in here. we are overwhelmed by the response. i feel welcome back home to pennsylvania, thank you very,
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very much. [applause] it is first, i want to congratulate governor romney. i gave him a call earlier. i want to thank all of the folks from illinois. if you look at what does tonton -- what's going happen tonight, we're going to win central and western illinois. we are happy about the delegates where glenn to get, too. -- we're going to get, too. [applause] we wanted to come here tonight back to pennsylvania, back to a favored place of mine. it is the town of gettysburg. there are so many memories that come to mind where abraham
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gettysburgnished to get hi address. he think about the elections of our past. i have gone around this country of the basque country. -- over the past year now. they said this is the most important election since 1816. it is about whether these united states, which was it was mostly referred to, would become the united states. it to be a country balance -- bound together to build a great and powerful nation. it is a concept that we were bred with. i said throughout the course of this campaign that while other issues are important, joblessness, national security
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concerns, a family, all of these issues are important. the foundation of this place, the cause of what we're feeling in the economy and budget crisis. it all boils down to one word "freedom." [applause] i was pleased to hear that governor romney is now adopting that the man in his speech -- that theme as his speech tonight. i'm glad we're moving the debate. i have been focused on this.
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i've been out talking to people. we have been to a thousand town hall meetings. i know this is a concern people have. it is a government that is trying to dictate how we are going to live our lives. trying to order us around, treble our freedoms. -- trample our freedoms. whether it is our economic freedom or liberty. it is building the dependency on government. we see government expand and grow. half the people in this country -- they depend on some form of federal government. after obamacare is implemented, every single american will depend on the federal government for something that is critical to their health and life. that is why this election is so important. it is about foundational things.
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this is about an election about not to is the best person to manage washington or the economy. we do not need a manager. we need someone who's going to pull out government and do something to eliminate the -- to liberate the private sector. to that is what we need. it is great to have wall street experience. i had experience growing up in a small town. we see how men and women of this country have the opportunity to climb.
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it i see people that work close. there are children better maybe not getting the opportunities they hoped for. they can climb that ladder of success. they voiced their concerns about this economy will turn around for them and not just those of the top of the income ladder. that is why i talked about an energy plan. if we create opportunities by reducing the oppressive regulatory burdens that this administration has put on those who want to drill for energy.
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they have appealed to voters across the country. someone who you can trust. someone that you know when they say they will do something they are not saying it because it happens to be the popular theme of the moment. someone who has a long track record of convictions, someone who's going to go out and stand and fight because it is not just what they tell us to say or what is on their teleprompter. i do not happen to have one here tonight. they know in their guts from their life experiences to living in america that this is
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what america needs and wants. they want someone who is not going to washington d.c. because they want to be the most powerful person in the world. they want someone who's going to take that and bring it back to the country. there is one candidate in this race who can go out and make that contrast with the current options to the white house. someone who has a track record to empower people. whether it is obamacare, romneycar -- they are interchangeable.
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we need someone who understands the submission to the problem of -- the solution to the problem of 1/17 of the economy is not government economy but your control over that sector of the economy. we need someone who needs to grow our supplies and someone who can trust that in good times and in bad, but when times are tough, people thought this was a source of carbon dioxide it could damage our environment. when those who profess the man-
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made global warming, they convinced many republicans including those who are running on the ticket that there was one that says i know this is political science. this is another attempt of those who want to take power away from new control your access to energy, your utilization. that is what they believe.
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governor romney and gingrich went along with the right. -- with the ride. guess what? when the climate change, they change their position. now they're all for drilling. i was for it. i am not going nto change wi -- not going to change with the climate. i grew up in this great state. this is the first day of the launch that we wanted to come here. we wanted to come here to launch our campaign. we have five weeks to a big win in pennsylvania.
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i come as a son of pennsylvania. i learned everything about freedom and opportunity, hard work, crank up with folks who -- from growing up with folks who work in the middle of the my in -- in the mills and mines in western pennsylvania. the pictures of the men and women who worked there. it they fought for the the things the people fought for. they fought for things that americans that ronald reagan referred to.
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as that shining city on the hill. things i'm fighting for here today. the reason karen and i decided in the -- it is the face of having seven children ages 20-3. it is not the best time to run for president of the united states. we felt compelled because as ronald reagan said, we did not want to have to sit down some day and look at the eyes of our children's children and describe to them in america where once men were free. there were all born in pennsylvania.
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they all understand that has the greatness. all of us understand what was sacrifice. that is why we fight this fight. not because some poster tells us. because they know in their gut big things are adrift and in state at this election. i ask each and every one of the a to join us, to saddle up like reagan did with cowboy boots,
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take on that responsibility over the next five weeks. we're going to head to louisiana for here. we're feeling good about winning louisiana on saturday. [applause] we are heading to louisiana for the rest of the week and then we will be back here in pennsylvania. we will pick up a whole boatload of delegates and go on to victory. thank you very much. god bless you.
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♪ ♪ ["independence day" playing] ♪ >> yeah, i met her years ago.
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[inaudible conversations]
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>> we are all supporting you. you'd better get there. >> thank you. how are you? good to see you. hi. good to see you. do you want me to sign this? there you go. >> hi, how are you? good to see you. >> 1, 2, 3. >> there you go. thank you. >> take care.
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>> thanks for coming. thank you. >> my grandaughter was your coordinator. >> she did a great job for us. >> it is the best. >> it is good to see you. thank you so much. >> good luck, rick. thank you. >> can we get a quick picture? >> yes, yes. >> senator do you still see a path to the nomination after tonight? >> absolutely. thank you. >> good luck to you.
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>> thanks for being here. >> how are you? thank you. bless your heart. i cannot believe all those people out there.
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>> we did well downstate. >> how about a word for your neighbors in maryland? >> we will be there next week. we are going to work hard. >> keep up the fight. we're praying for you. >> can i get a picture with you? >> sure. good luck to you. >> senator, nice to see you again.
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>> let me do another pass. >> do you inmind taking a picture? >> thank you so much. >> thank you, thank you. >> rick, we're praying for you. >> thanks, everyone. we appreciate your being here.
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>> mrs. santorum, can i have a picture with you and your husband, please? >> sure. >> senator, nice to see you again. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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9 >> happy to see that kind of energy and pennsylvania. we knew that folks would come out to help us. i'm feeling very good about that. >> another tough night. >> we did very well. we picked up a lot of delegates in a very tough state. we did what we had to do. we got the delegates we needed to get. again, it's very clear. race. 2-person
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and now we need to get all the conservatives to line up behind us. >> thank you, rick. >> we appreciate it. thank you so much for being heree. >> work for us. don't just vote for us, work for us. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you. take care. >> thanks for being here. >> oh, i'll be back. >> can we get a picture, senator? >> here you go. look forward to seeing you in maryland. >> we organize the delegates for
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you. >> up next, a discussion about the latino vote in the 2012 election. fe shared men ben bernanke teaches -- chairman ben bernanke teaches at his request on the history of the fed reserve. >> i mean, my friends, a new america where freedom is made real for all without regard to race, or belief or economic condition. [applause] i mean a anew america which everlastingly attacks the ancient idea that men can solve their differences by killing each other.
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>> as candid its campaign for president this year, we look back of 14 men who ran for the office and lost. go to our website contenders to see video of the contenders. >> the profits of the radical liberal left continue to offer only one solution to the problems which confront us. they tell us again and again and again we should spend our way out of trouble and spend our way into a better tomorrow. >> no. >> contenders. >> now, a look at the latino vote in the 2012 races. we will talk to the head of the national association of latino elected and appointed officials about the influence of this voting demographic and political issues affecting latino voters. this is 40 minutes.
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/thecontenders. >> "washington journal" continued. host: arturo vargas, when it comes to latinos, how was 2012 different? guest: we expect an increase in voters. we anticipate 12.2 million in 2012. host: when you the potential voters, what do you see as far as issues? guest: the most important issue is the economy. latinos have been most effective -- effected by the recession, to have the highest foreclosure rates. the loss of jobs has hit the committee more than any other. there are concerns about health care, public education, immigration reform. folks think that immigration is
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the latino issues. it is one of the many latinos care about. host: when it comes to the economy, is there anything among the republican candidates that could be of interest to latino voters? guest: latino voters are looking to see what republican candidates have to say to them. from what we have heard, the have focused very much on immigration. i think what they want is to hear how any candidate is going to create more jobs and help those most effected by the recession. host: they have not heard that yet? guest: i did not think they have heard that from anybody yet. host: what good pr show as far as mitt romney? guest: i think it shows there is not really latino support for any candidate, because border regions would vote for someone.
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-- porter ricans would vote for someone. host: supporters for the present, where are they now? guest: and he still enjoys a higher approval rate, but there is disappointment with the lack of moving immigration ford. he needs to speak to them directly. host: as far as immigration reform, and starting there, why has it not advanced? guest: in my view, the president used his political capital in his first two years, with the majority of congress, to move health care reform, and he got that through. once that happened come he lost the congress and was not able to move any initiative fourth. host: we saw the effort being made in the previous administration as well, why does
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this issue not in advance? gee, it does not advance because we do not have support from account -- guest: it is not a dance because we do not have enough support from the congress, and it is unfortunate because many people suffer and the economy suffers. we do not have enough workers coming into the country to take the jobs that need to be taken, then we have families that are separated. it is an issue that needs to be fixed, and we need the courage to get this done. host: what does a fixed look like? guest: i think a fix looks like a rational way for people to emigrate to this country because right now it does not exist. we do have 11 million people living in the shadows in this country. we need to recognize their status in some way so they can contribute fully to our economy and society. this is a way to keep families together. right now, families are separated by immigration laws. if we really believe in the strength of the family, we need
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to keep families together. host: our guest will be here until monocoque 15. you can ask questions on 3 -- phone lines. host: woodbridge, virginia. scott, republican-led. -- republican line. caller: good morning. i did not expected to speak for the entire looking a community, just like i do not speak for my entire community, whatever the heck i am. that being said, i wonder what your perspective is -- you mentioned immigration reform, what would be your preference, i guess, to deal with illegals currently here, that are under a
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legal status? number two, what are your feelings as far as the constitutional argument regarding someone that comes here illegally, then has a child here, and then the child is considered a u.s. citizen? guest: on the first item, what do we do with you 11 million people that are here? what many of the candidates have said is that it is not rational to think the country will deport 12 million people. i think we need to give them an opportunity to regularize their status, pay their taxes, pay fines, then get in line to become permanent residents. many of them are to to begin members of society. they have created families, a
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home. they contribute to their community. let's talk to make them full members of our society. host: n.c., robert, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. kai reed general comment eni when your observations. -- i have a general comment, and i want to have your observations. a lot of republicans are running away from president bush, who was a wartime president, but when he got in before 9/11, the first thing he did was reach out to mexico and he tried to start rational immigration policies, and regulate amnesty, and some sort of rational policy for workers to come up so we can know who they were, and they
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could pay a fair amount of taxes, then 9/11 started, and he had to make a shift. we have to respond to the attack, a pearl harbor-type event. how would like you to make a comment on that. -- i would like you to make a comment on that. guest: you are right. before 9/11, the president stood up and said the most important relationship this country had was with mexico, and in 2001, he said the most important relationship this country had was with him england, and that change the paradigm. we have worked -- moved 11 years from 9/11, and the country has not fix the broken immigration system. i'm hoping we have a congress and the white house that is moving to push this forward. host: new york. democrats line. caller: i am concerned about the
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issues addressed from the economic perspective. with recent immigration and services that are being utilized by the population -- social services -- these should be social services for the aging elderly in this country who have worked input into this system for their working lives. when they are aging in needing nursing care, long-term care, etc., there will be contradictions as to who will get the benefit of that money. i think that is one of the issues that is creating all lot of anger among the population -- a lot of anger among the population, and the persons that are born now and the ensuing
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conflict between those elderly people who paid and supported that system for 30 years and the people who do not pay income about our consumers. guest: data shows that undocumented issues -- immigrants in this country do not use social services to the extent people think they do. the only support they use our one, it emergency health care services, or two, public education. then you address the issue of the elderly. in fact, it is immigrants taking care of our elderly. they are doing a long-term health care for our aging population, because that is one of the jobs people in this country do not want to do. we use immigrants in order to take care of our aging parents and grandparents. host: the affordable care act --
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is this a concern for your organization, and latinos overall? guest: we focus on political engagement, but we know latinos are the most uninsured population in this country, and we want to make sure people have access to quality health care. callcock's 12.29 -- host: 0.2 million projected latino voters this week -- this year. talk about that when it -- in relation to voter i.d. laws. guest: i think voter i.d. laws proposal.rous it represents a new barrier. the department of justice, i just last week decided not to declare a voter i.d. law in texas because the debt showed the lifting of were either 46%
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or 120% more likely to not have the kind of idea -- id required. it presents a new barrier. host: 30 states with the law. states with photo id, 7. host: it is a dangerous development. -- guest: it is a dangerous development. there should not be a requirement. host: michigan. austin, a republican line. go ahead. caller: i have three points that would be interesting. i'm getting in my car right now. i'm sorry. one thing that has been
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overlooked in the upcoming presidency is the possibility of ron paul getting the nomination because of the delegates there be a been looking at. it is interesting because i wonder how the latino community would be impacted by austerity measures that he would take two, i have noticed that when people talk about immigration and illegals, the argument is skewed toward latinos, but in all the actuality, latinos are not the only people that would come in legally across the border. i guess that would be it. guest: i think you are absolutely right. the majority of people who are here in undocumented status are people that have overstayed their visas.
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your typical undocumented immigrant is not someone that has come across the border they overstayed their -- and they do so because they want to be reunited with family's. immigration does not allow that for a rational -- in a rational way. -- host: it is more of a statement from twitter -- g code data shows there are about 12 million, and the most recent data shows it as a decline to about 11 million. e-verify it is and in precise data set. there are people included that have every right to work, and they are being denied the
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opportunity for a job. we need to make sure that this is actually accurate. host: is the current state of the economy affecting how many immigrants receive illegal immigrants are in the country? guest: i think it has. people come here for jobs. if there are no jobs, people cannot come here. host: waldorf, maryland. tony, in the penn line. -- independent line. caller: i'm in the construction industry. i see a lot of latinos. i myself-contractor. i picked them up quite a bit. they pretty much set their money back to their country. i am wondering what your guest would feel about -- or, has it been brought up to have them pay some kind of flying to become a citizen? it would help our economy. that is all i have to say.
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host: i would ask if you are paying their -- guest: i would ask if you are paying their implants taxes. one of the reasons we need to fix the broken immigration system as many workers have been exploited by the people that hire them. they're not been paid fair wages. they are not receiving the kinds of benefits that other workers get, such as health insurance and vacation time in so forth. they're working very hard, and they are sending money to their families in home countries because families are suffering back there, in the do not have the kind of economic means that we have here. host: this is a different topic, but american hero says are latino voters concerned about the violence in mexico? guest: i think everyone is very concerned with the violence in mexico. there are people there that are
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suffering, and there is an untold number of murders and people that have been killed in drug wars them ahead involved in the drug trafficking. i was in mexico one year ago to visit my family, and they asked me how was mexico viewed by the united states? people think it is like colombia. they said that is how they feel. it is that kind of environment. host: virginia. stan, democrats line. caller: i heard mr. arturo vargas says there are immigrants that come in and do all sorts of work, and he said we want to take care of our elderly, and i think that is a misconception.
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i think immigrants do work that americans do not want to do cheaper and under the table, because it would not make sense to have immigrants that do not speak english take care of senior citizens. when i go to wal-mart or mcdonald's, u.s. for ketchup, they do not understand what you're talking about -- you asked for ketchup, they do not understand what you are talking about. i would appreciate if they stopped saying they are doing work we do not want to do. they are undercutting other minorities, coming here you legally. guest: the real issue is that employers are not paying workers what they should be paying. that is really what we need to do. we need to go after the employers and require them to pay their wages for their
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workers. if we did not have people there were so desperate that they would work for less pay and be taken advantage of, we would not have this situation and enforcement needs to be among employers. host: univision and abc did a poll. fix the economy was high on the list. one of the things that came up were abortion, gay rights, and family values. relate that back to the debate we have been having as far as contraceptives are concerned. is this an important issue? guest: i did not think so. people are focused on the economy and the lack of jobs. the issues that affect them day- to-day -- jobs, health care, public education.
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the candidates have not talked about public education. its defects latinos more than any other population because we are -- it effects latinos more because we are such a young population. 48% of every texan under 18 years of age is latino. the quality of public education is effecting the future of the country because children in the clauses are largely locking up. host: when they hear about efforts like race to the top -- your opinion on those things? guest: that is really only effected a small margin of public-school students because it is a small role in public education. it is a state in a local issue. the fact that many states are cutting -- and a local issue. the fact that many states are cutting budgets, that is
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affecting public education. host: alan, republican lines. caller: how come latinos a road for democrats when they ship guns to mexico to kill their relatives, they put farmers out of work when they shut off water in california, thinking more about fish and then mexican workers, and also when be illegals come in and take jobs from lug the legal latinos. how can you vote for democrats that do not want to vote -- close the border? guest: latinos really are the swing voter. if you look at how they have performed, and they have demonstrated the ability to cross party lines. for example, in 2000 and 2004, 40 percent of latinos supported george w. bush and helped him win the presidency in 2000 by
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him when in florida. in 2008, florida and went for barack obama. latino voters look for elections, candidates, and then make decisions. host: let me take you back to mitt romney and pr. this is a ". host: the middle part, standing for something and the values he touted? guest: let's talk about the p uerto rico primary. it was a republican primary. a republican was going to win.
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every candidate needs to speak to latino voters in all 50 states and we need a candidate to deal with the loss of jobs in the latino community, the foreclosure rate, and figure out how we can move the country afford. host: pensacola, florida. eric, independent line. caller: you come out of left field of a few things. first of all, your foundation of identity politics, i consider it somewhat racist to think that everyone simply because of their national origin will think one way or vote one way, that is stereotyping. you would call that profiling. why it is not the name -- why is your name of the organization not american? this is america.
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we're supposed to be in it together. host: do you have a question? guest: -- caller: yes, who will determine what organizations should be paying? it is not the government pulled the decision. you are doing people to slave labor by continuing immigration, saying it is lowercase simply because people have a need. there is a pest to -- saying it is simply because people have a need. there is a path to citizenship and she called but he knows have demonstrated they will vote for democrats or republicans -- citizenship. guest: democrats or republicans will be elected by latinos. are the swing vote. they represent the future of the united states. we need to invest in latino children today, making sure they
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receive a quality education. they are the future work force of this country, the future leadership. if we are going to continue to be a global leader, we need to develop the human capital of all our people. host: shreveport, louisiana. joe, democrats line. caller: i hate to item a democrat. i've played by the -- to tell you the truth. i democrat. i played by the rules. i'm paying my dues to society. i play by the rules. once you come here illegally, you are liable to do anything illegally. this is very common among the asian and latino.
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the resolution is all of them get deported. i do not care who you are. that is the name of the game. i'm sorry. guest: the best solution is to fix the broken immigration system. we have 11 million to 12 million people living in the shadows. we need to figure out how to regularize their status and get a rational way of immigrating to this country to meet our own economic needs and keep families together. host: are there host: there are more latinos running for office this year. guest: there is, because of redistricting. states like texas, arizona, nevada, florida have a new congressional seats, and all have the opportunity to draw new districts with latino voters to
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select the candidates of their choice. i expect there to be five to six more hispanics in the caucus. host: massachusetts. this is john, republican on line. caller: i have a couple of things to say to you guys, and please, you let everybody else talk. this system is being controlled by the global list international bankers, ok? sooner or later, because of this going on, we are not going to be able to get everybody into this system, the system is going to collapse. we hear that there is going to be a man in the background waiting to come in for the nwo, the new world order, ok? that is why bush did what he did. the gentleman just said we had a pearl harbor, but people in government, like the president
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when we at pearl harbor, knew we were going to be attacked with these globalists come in here and set up these corporations and we don't have any rights. we are under the patriot act. host: so -- caller: excuse me. ethicali -- the globalists say they are helping people while they are wiping people out -- it is depopulation. host: question for our guest? caller: i have a question. there are laws being broke and not only by people coming in from other countries, because i guess international, ok? -- it is international, ok? host: there are laws. guest: there are laws that don't
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work. we hope we get a congress and presidency that will fix our immigration system but also fix our economy and make sure that all of us are able to take advantage of living the american dream. host: north carolina. thanks for hanging on. caller: all right. mr. vargas, i would like to say to you that all the people that are here are coming from latino countries. they don't have any rights. you can say anything you want to, pretend you don't understand, but what you are doing, he or overloading our country -- you are overloading our country. your country is going free -- the people that have these big businesses are moving to your country, but your people are not staying there and taking care of their own country. guest: my country is the united states of america. i was born here and i'm doing everything we can as an
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organization to make sure that all americans are able to fulfill their dreams and live the american dream. we want to make sure that people who immigrate to this country are able to immigrate to this country and become -- are able to integrate into this country and become members of society. host: california, democrats' line. caller: mr. vegas. host: vargas, actually. caller: mr. vargas, good morning. you speak up latinos. are you speaking of those who are american citizens, or those who are not american citizens who wish to be? how is that -- in my opinion, you are separating us from being american. the fellow from florida hit it on the head.
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it is america, and we have to stick together. are you speaking in terms of an american and latino, or -- that is pretty much my question. guest: sure. i am speaking of the millions of residents of this country, at citizens, some of them immigrants, who are contributing to our country and society and want to live the american dream. what we want to do is we want to help them succeed, we want to help them integrate into society, make sure they are contributing members of our economy and democracy. that will make our nation as strong. host: integration -- we go back to puerto rico one more time. this is mr. santorum saying there should be english only before they have a statehood. guest: mr. santorum needs to do his homework, because english is the official language of puerto
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rico. it was an insult to say they should speak english,, because as a territory they have been officially bilingual for years. host: judy, republican line. caller: mr. vargas, i have several problems with your point of view. you seem to be representing mainly illegal aliens. let me remind you that illegal aliens in this country abuse our health-care system. they get free dialysis, are free cancer care, are free organ transplants. it is all been written up in the newspaper so don't tell me you don't know about it. on top of that, we never get to send it back to their own country to pay for them. also, all these illegal latinos and organizations like you or against laws like 287g and a
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secure communities. you are against anything that exercises any form of control and discovers illegal aliens and the ports of them. host: what's 287g? caller: 287g is the law that empowers the police and gives them immigration authority. guest: so we needed to fix our broken immigration system. there are laws in this country that are not working. nobody wants to have an illegal immigration population in this country. certainly we don't in this country. we don't want people living in the shadows are being exploited. we want to make sure that people are able to fully develop their human capital and potential. that only happens by a rational system by which people can legally migrate from country to country. host: she mentioned secure
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communities. guest: secure communities is a program whereby law enforcement is able to corporate with immigration authorities at the federal level -- cooperate with immigration authorities at the federal level and check people's immigration status as they are being detained or arrested for any violation. the problem with that secure communities in some areas is that some people are being taken in -- for example, a woman who reports of domestic violence. typically what happens is that law enforcement shows up at the home and arrests both parties, the woman and a man. the woman is undocumented and is reporting domestic violence and she herself might be subject to deportation. all she is doing is reporting a crime. what secure communities may end up doing is depressing the
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number of people who are willing to call police to report crimes. that is a problem that law- enforcement agencies see with secure communities. host: new york city is next. jason on the independent line. caller: i got to say, you mention education. most of the callers calling in, yes, that education is badly needed. i agree with mr. vargas on a lot of points. the reason people are illegal here is because of immigration system. i came as a green card holder with my family when i was 10 years old. i note that the system has changed a lot and it has become more difficult. i have a wife outside the country. host: what country? caller: she is japanese. she is not breaking any laws. it seems state bank, making it more complicated. people want to -- but it seems
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they are making it more complicated. people want to be with their families. they don't have the money or the legality to come into the country to be a legal citizen or permanent resident. to illegal point ting immigrants saying they are causing all this conflict. they really are not. the system needs to change. asians have someone speaking for them, latinos have someone speaking for them. they are the majority in here illegally. mexico is, hello, right over the border, right next door. i think mr. vargas has a very good point. we need to find another way. guest: i think he demonstrated our broken immigration system keeps people separated. what we need to do is a nation -- as a nation is figure out how to keep families together and strengthen this country.
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host: is there a cost to become a legal resident of the country? guest: you need to wait years and years and years, because there isn't enough visas for people to migrate legally. there are many people who take advantage of immigrants and charged that hundreds of thousands of dollars and don't provide any services. people are being exploited. we need to fix the system to make sure that people are able to live their lives. host: how many visas allowed per year? guest: it changes from country to country. host: dallas, texas, hello. caller: yes, yes. i was calling just to -- calling to congratulate mr. vargas, because, like i said, what he said about the congress and obama, he lost a lot of seats in the congress, and that is what held us up.
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like i say, in schools, when i go to elementary schools, high schools, they are showing spanish kids are excelling over our kids. the melting pot await it is, it is something we need to allow and make work for our country. they are not here to be worked by the older people but to support our economy. we need to find a way to get them in. guest: we need to make sure everybody in this country is able to develop their full potential, their human capital, which is why public education is so important. we need to make sure schools are educating our children. they are the future of this country and we need to make sure they receive a quality education. host: shreveport, louisiana.
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bill. caller: wishing everybody a blessed day, and bless our military. first off, ok, you take msnbc, like ed schultz says, we want the communist party in our party. let the blacks, hispanics, muslims takeover that wing of that party, and the progressive spirit that the independents, the tea party, the conservatives, come together as one, and if the hispanics and blacks want to come to the right side of the aisle -- host: caller, what is the point? caller: can have this country back for another 200 years. host: education, are you part of that?
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guest: we're doing everything we can to make sure that as that latinos vote in the next election, it will be a historic number of latino voters, 26% increase over 2008. we are doing a voter engagement campaign across the country and working with english and spanish language media to make that happen. latinos want to have a voice in public policy debates. we want to make sure their voices heard in november. host: connecticut. margaret, independent line. caller: mr. vargas, i have been married to a green card holder for 30 years, and we went through the process and we got here illegally. we live in this country for a while, -- got here legally. we lived in his country for a while, a european country. the woman's dilemma where she is undocumented and she has to report domestic violence, and she has to worry about reporting
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a crime. she herself is participating in a fat war crime, she is here -- federal crime -- she is here un document, illegal. would you be in favor of making mandatory the e-verify system? guest: the e-verify system is in precise, and that is one of the problems people have a bit, and people ar -- people have with it, that people are being denied the opportunity to work. it is a broken system, and we needed to make sure that people are able to emigrate to this country in a rational way and we are looking to the presidency and congress to make that happen. host: arturo vargas is the director of naleo /ñ???????
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a man in his a pause, maybe 90's, trying to reform such a long way to go. but one of the things that the obama administration had the opportunity to do is to get these regimes to have some legitimacy to lead their people to a democratic process without having the destruction of revolutionary change. >> i want to make a couple of comments. one is to offer further explanation on why there is not
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a center. and the second point i want to make relates to the lesson that steve was saying. there has been a lot of focus within the obama administration about precisely what you're describing. having those kinds of conversations, you can see what is coming, get out in front of it and offering certain suggestions. but let me offer the first observation. mubarak very much did what elliott was describing. he was not alone in this. basically, all the so-called republics, they had no justification for why they were in power. they had no idea that explained what was their reason for ruling. unlike the monarchies, they had dynastic legitimacy. you can say that they have limits, but they have some legitimacy. they had none. because they had none, they feared those who create in narrative who would justify an alternative.
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mubarak focused on making sure there could not be an alternative narrative and it had to be a by near a situation. in part, n.j. it had to be a by mary -- it had to be a binary situation. he did something along lines of what will it was describing because he did play footsie with the muslim brotherhood. they were extremely brutal. and the allied the muslim brotherhood as a party. -- they outlawed the muslim brotherhood as a party. they allowed the isthmus to come in a takeover. whether it is the lawyers are
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the doctors -- it was a mother who came to dominate. this was ok from the mubarak standpoint. he give them an outlet. by the same token, and anybody who is under the roof of a secular or liberal, no possibility of emerging, no tolerance for them. so you look at what happened. basically, we're in a situation where you have one place that we have seen as being off-limits because the regime did not have legitimacy. in the mosque, you have freedom of speech. people in the mosque would stand up and say things. you come into the mosque in uc people who stand up and they are not giving in.
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they knew had to play on the into the people felt and the fact that they did not have an alternative outlet. here was a mosque where you had a summons of freedom of speech were your allowed to organize -- you had a semblance of freedom of speech where you were allowed to organize. and the embodiment of social justice was seen because they were engaged in providing clinics to distribute food when there was an earthquake in cairo. who is out there distributing food and blankets? it was the brotherhood. it was not the regime. you would see no sign of the government, but you would see the brotherhood. they could do it in a limited way, but it could be seen. there is a bill 10 advantage that the eighth myth -- that the isthmus had. they are seen as being effective because they deliver
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some social welfare. they are seen as non-corrupt and and bodying social justice, the antithesis of the regime. and they are allowed to organize. the secular liberal alternative is not there. they're not allowed to organize and their secular. and the regime as secular. the number generation is able to use the internet. they are able to present an opposition. but they have not had the time to create an identity, an agenda, a platform where they can think about had we now present ourselves and our identity to the public? they had all of the disadvantages in the early going and the isthmus had all these advantages. this was a region that was
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characterized -- this is a subject political culture, not a participatory political culture. what has happened in the last year, one of the reasons i do not despair, although i am not feel uneasy about the way things are, the fact is that people in this part of the world today and increasingly see themselves as citizens, not as subject. and as citizens, they should have rights. as citizens, they can make demands. as citizens, they can have expectations. as citizens, the should be able to hold their government accountable. what they don't have is institutions that are there that allow them to express what citizens would express and it will take time to build those institutions.
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one of the things that has to happen, now, calling upon being citizens and they clearly have a voice and they will not give up that voice, it is important to create standards of accountability. on our own, we cannot do this because we do not have the credibility to be able to -- it is able to blame things on us. -- it is easy to blame things on us. you'll not see one house built, one job created, and it will not address their demands and expectations. but there are things that can be done, but you have to build centers of accountability or the business will have all the advantages. -- or the isthmus will have all the advantages. one thing you can save is a sense of citizen -- you can see is a sense of citizenship
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emerging. you have to create a sense of inclusion. you have to create a sense that people have the means to participate and somehow shaping their own future and their own destiny. it is an easy thing to say. it is a hard thing to do because you get back to what king abdullah said to president bush. many of them will say we understand. i will not identify these individuals now because they are in power. many of them say we understand. they don't quite know how to take the steps that will be responsive without unleashing a set of forces they feel will undo them. and there are not too many people in power who will take steps that will undo their hold on power. >> especially since you brought up the question of the islamists and the mosque and this shift in
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identity from subject to citizen, that brings us to the main topic today, which is the subject of religious freedom. what is the role of religious freedom in the is ongoing transformations? when we hear religious freedom, his nut a -- is that a talking horse or is religious freedom a key solution to pluralism and to creating these institutions and having citizenship that dennis was talking about, especially for non-islamist muslims and minorities such as christians and jews? >> it seems to me a very difficult question. these are countries in which,
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for the most part, there was a fair amount of religious freedom -- for the most part. the restrictions on religious freedom are two kinds. one, minorities, for example, in many of these countries, there are laws against changing your religion from islam to another religion. and then there were the restrictions that the state put on the muslim brotherhood and other expressions of islamist belief. now the systems are open and you can have something closer to
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popular sovereignty. it raises the question of religious freedom again. it is interesting. i rode a column in the monday "washington post" not as the worst example of difficulties, but it is a important. it is a place where every says, look, to news and has a really good chance of making it. as a tunisian -- tunisia has a really good chance of making it. a film had a scene in which people in the movie had a visualization in her mind of god, an image of god. and i said that is a violation of the freedom of expression to go after -- for the state to prosecute. and it is wrong. and i had a level tunisian friend sending me any missing, no, no, you are wrong. -- sending me an e-mail message saying, no, no, you are wrong.
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there are a million issues. one is precisely the kind of thing you're talking about. if you push those issues, you americans, complete freedom of expression in the religious realm, then tunisians, none of whom want to see that kind of movie and who are conservative, they will say that this democracy stuff brings with it chaos and sacrilege and down the road prostitution, homosexuality. that is the line is given. he is not wrong, but he is not right either. what i wrote back to him was that the problem that you are seeing is that there is no limited principle. first of all, there are no two nations who want to see this
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movie? zero? and if there is only 20% of the country, they do not count? and if the argument is that you cannot show a movie like that because the vast majority of tunisians but don't want to see it, don't the vast majority of them think that a woman should not be let out of the house without a burqa? is that not also true? i think that what you have, to some extent, is a competition among the freedoms that we want to see these countries adopt. you will see this happen where islamists will argue against secular parties.
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they will take you down the road and this will end in a place where there's no place for religion in the public square and it will take you down to sodom and gomorrah. which will sell to millions of people in the region. but the answer to that, which you'll also find, we will not have freedom of religion for 25 years until things settle down cannot be right either. it is not a simple question. it is not like saying that every single freedom can now advance at the same pace and realize at the same pace because they're all interrelated. i think we do have a role here. the american-style of secularism is not their style. and i think we need to explain and defend the american model.
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a lot of people in the middle east and beginning to become, in tunisia also, to realize that it may be a better model for them. we do not believe in majority rule, and a sentence, and a paragraph. we believe "under law." we have a constitution. we have a preamble about how the state is constructed and then we have amendments. we do not view democracy as the ability of those 51% to employ is -- to impose everything they like what everybody else. that is not what we're like. >> to pick up on that, the religious freedom is very important to us.
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it is important as a value. i looked at the 10 amendments and the first one, thought, a better check that. i thought it started with freedom of speech. actually, it shows that congress shall make no law making establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. and then at the end you have free speech and assembly and all of that. in some sense, it you have freedom of religion, the other parts of that amendment follow on it as corollaries. so freedom of religion is very important. lawyers say that hard cases make bad law. if we force these regimes coming out of their history as a first issue to deal with that question of how far does freedom of religion reach, i need to --
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an issue that has bedeviled our country for two vendors, you do not have democracy. -- for two hundred years, you cannot have democracy. if we put that on these governments as a first order of business, they will not make it. so what should we be doing? i think something short of that, something that will enable the resolution of those questions, but does not force them prematurely. and that is religious tolerance. that is where i would make the focus. one colleague said something very profound. he said, in the middle east, and neither arab nationalism nor political islam had a tradition of tolerance and pluralism. and that is what the middle east needs. why does he say that? because, if divinities cannot
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solve the issue of power, then you have a situation where the political authoritarianism of themubaraks will be replaced with religious the foreignism -- religious authoritarianism which is what you have now. shia beating on kurds and kurds beating on shia. and everything else. religious tolerance means you cannot impose your beliefs on everybody else and the needs to be space between the state and religion. a speech in cairo anchored a lot of islamists.
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he said, look, the state should be equidistant from all religions and no religions. and the state ought to run a system for all religions have a place. but the premise of that will be tolerance. and i think that is what we need. because if there will be stability over the long term, there has to be tolerance in the element of democracy. so i would say tolerance. >> i do not have really add to what they have said. i think they both captured it effectively and eloquently. the only thing -- it is may be a semantic way of saying what
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you just said. i think the critical point is respect for minority rights. again, when i was talking about standards of accountability, are was tying -- i was trying to get to there being political standards of accountability. when you reserve space for competition, that means you also have to respect the views and rights of others. there has to be the right of those who get -- those who get elected have the right to make laws, but they have to respect minorities. if they have respect for minority rights, then there will be tolerance. in the egyptian brotherhood read now, you see a kind of pulling attraction over exactly trying to define what the role
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religion will be in the state. article 2 is the role of sharia, but there is a difference among those who feel that it should be much more omnipresent role and those who think there should be a separation. the extent to which i agree with both my colleagues appear on the idea that we have a role to play, i think i would add we would be more effective if we can build one amounts to a large number of partners saying this internationally and repeating it over and over again so it becomes a mantra. when it becomes a mantra, it then becomes something that the brotherhood will realize that the world is watching at a time when they want help.
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and if they want help, they need to treat certain standards. and it seeps into the public street anyway. they have the psychology of being citizens, but did not have the existing mechanisms on how to act on that. >> one more question to our panelists before we turn it over to the audience. this is on a country that is not necessarily associated with arab spring, but some may say that the release seeds or not just in tunisia, but in iran with the green movement protest. i would like to ask the panelists -- helmet, we will begin with you. -- elliott, we will begin with you. given that the regime is defined by a kind of religious
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intolerance, do you think that religious freedom advocacy, whatever that might look like, maybe a way into the side door of promoting reform moderation in iran, especially for the iranian muslims who do not accept the regime interpretation? >> i do. many people of iran have been inoculated against this form of political and religious organizations by having the horrible experience of living under it. i believe they would vote against this in a free election. that is why there will not be a constitutional referendum in iran asking people whether they want it anymore. it is something that will change when this regime someday foal's.
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i think many iranians will never know the exact numbers and tell iran is free. but there are many who believe this is a corruption of she of islam -- of shia is long. -- of shia islam. they have essentially destroyed it by bringing it under control of the state and it ruins the entire system. it is not, therefore, surprising. the most important resistance from regime -- resistance to the regime comes from the clerical system. there are so many prominent shia leaders who refused to vote in the recent elections on the
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grounds that it was all such a corrupt political system. alton l.a. -- they -- they looked around and they realized that, in some of the era of countries -- we have seen free elections in tunisia, egypt and had big victories. but the iran population is nearly disgusted with the kind of islam that the state is forcing on them. they realize that means the future of shia islam in iran. in the case of iran, generally speaking, the push for religious freedom is very helpful overall in arguing for a better future for iran. i am troubled by one part of this picture.
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that is the high. this regime has been a vicious and bloody and murderers when it comes to the high. i do know whether the post- islamic republic of iran will understand that this is all part of the same disease $7 and -- disease of intolerance. one has to hope that this experience teaches tolerance not only for your own group,
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obviously, but by definition the real meaning of it, the they would go beyond that. and at least tolerance for those were not in your group. >> i would have given a different answer. i think is actually right. having been informed by my colleague, my answer would be yes but in a sort of indirect way. i go back to the first amendment. congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. for 200 years, there has been tension between those. i think helps iran in the following way. the watchword is "free exercise of religion" and "free exercise of all religions."
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that requires a tolerance of all religions. if you have a tolerance of all religions, you cannot have a state founded on a religion because it is inconsistent with freedom of religion and the free exercise of religion by all groups. that is really the issue in iran. we have a theocratic based regime. the region will have to conclude that that has not worked for the benefit of the people. and that you cannot establish a government on the basing of the slogan "islam is the answer." if your question is "what is the answer to all political problems and the question to how to found a political system," islam is the answer -- the region will have to respond no, it is not. in that sense, iraq is ahead of iran.
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and because of the remarkable character of ayatollah sestani because, when all of the political parties came, they said, tells what to do, he was the limiting power. he said no. that is a political question. you need to work it out. i think that is the right answer. as part of this tolerance dimension, the second piece of that is the region will have to understand that a political system based on religion is not the answer. >> i do not have a lot to had. one of the points that eliot made is exactly right. what this regime has done is given religion a bad name. in many respects, it is probably discrediting it for the
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future. it is one of the ironies. we have seen a militarization of the regime and powers being taken away from the clerics. it is also the quietest school of shia islam, which is the dominant one and is the polar opposite of what has emerged in iran. at some point, in iran, we will see a change. it is true that the focus is on the nuclear issue right now, for reasons that are understandable. i have not been trained initially as a specialist on the soviet union.
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you can always tell someone's age when they are a specialist of a country that no longer exists. [laughter] i see with in iran what looks to be of an analogous situation to the soviet union in the early- 1980's where ideology, in this case, religion as they describe it, has lost its relevance as being an idea buyer rule, but there to cloak. and underneath the cloak, you have a corrosive reality that is eating away at this regime overtime. you can never know or predict how long it will take to emerge. its impact on iran on religion will be increasingly negative overtime. we will know -- maybe there will be an evolution from this regime. maybe that will happen first. but if there isn't, there could be a reaction against religion. >> we will open it up to the
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floor for questions. the three stipulations for any questions is that you first identify yourself, second, keep it brief, and third, keep it civil. >> i really appreciated hearing the inside stories of talking m toubarak. -- talking to mubarak. there's this perception that no one in the u.s. government is trying to push these issues and i think this is important. i am a specialist on yemen and jordan. in 2006, yemen had its first real alternative candidate in its general election. and king jordan, i wonder if there are conversations there.
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king abdallah, he is our best friend there, but the regime is not legitimate. he does not have to perform pretend elections every four years and pretend that is the basis of legitimacy. i wonder if their conversations there and if there are in saudi arabia, the other give religion a bad name country in the region. i would love to hear more stories on that. >> one of the problems you run into is that, while it is true that there are sometimes rulers who respond to these questions, which it probably see as lectures by the stupid americans, they respond by saying you do not know anything. you do not understand my people. that happens.
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but what happens with equal frequency is the people say, absolutely, you are right. i am ahead of you. that is just for us. there was at a time when it looked like president solemn was moving ahead with democracy. he had an opponent in the elections and he had a couple of good years. but looking back, one could say that he had not read the constitution that said, this is it, i am there. he did it. we and others in a position to give him money, the eu, the world bank, imf, etc. in the case of jordan, i am not sure. the most effective lobbyists for jordan is the king, as his
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father was. you can tell the king that he has not thought of and said in his most recent speech about the liberalization in jordan. he has a gigantic problem with the division between east pakistan and the palestinians. he has a system where, quite intelligently, the prime minister does not come from the royal family. he comes from politics. when people get annoyed after eight months, he is gone. the problem is that, if you do that every six months to eight months, year after year, people will begin to doubt whether the changes or the reform is a disservice.
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in the aftermath of the arab spring, i do not think there have been real reforms. he is worried about something that we're not worried about. this can be positive or negative. i do not think he is so much worry about what will happen between now and december. he is wondering whether his son will be king of jordan. and he has to figure that out and it is hard. what would you tell him if your his brother or a close adviser in the royal court? i would argue that the game he has been playing for 10 years of a whisker to call fake reform will ultimately have to be -- of what can be called a fake reform
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will ultimately have to be jettisoned. >> i think eliot description and analysis is quite apt. in the case of sala, there were conversations with the obama administration to get him to accept transition. in this particular case, it was coordinated very close they -- very closely with the grc states because they were providing him with the means to stay in power. he would make certain commitments and even everything was done at one point and then he would back away.
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this is a guy who stayed in power for 30 years and was pretty good at maneuvering. that meant not only internally among the tribes, but also externally with choosing to have certain allies at certain points and choosing to have different allies at different points. in the end, he did do with the transition. there are some positive signs with this transition. there are still some open questions in terms of the way that his own family within the military. but it is pretty remarkable to look at what the reaction to his elections were, including among those who had been fighting each other. there was a genuine sense that something profound had no happened. the problems are enormous. they had few resources. they are running out of water. and they still have separatist
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impulses in the south. they face real challenges. but the transition is underway now and it shows some promise. clearly, it needs support. the fact is that sala, in the end, did leave. it came at the enormous efforts by people in the administration. the conversations with him were of high frequency and at high levels, including the president. your also striking a balance in these cases between what is the right balance between what you say in private and what you do in public. someone who has worked in the middle east for a long time, i can tell you with a high degree of confidence -- i say this at a time when humility should be the order of the day. we're not the authors of what is unfolding over there.
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we should first have a lot of humility. so when i said the falling, i am saying this not only with humility, but also with some sense of experience. you cannot limit what to do in private. in this part of the world, if it is only going to remain private, they will never take it seriously. how you balance would you say in private is part of the art. this is not a science. this is an art. you have to figure out what the right balance and the right moment -- when you say it, you have more than one audience. others will hear it. so you have to calibrate this. but if you can operate only in private, you will be effective. ultimately, what worked in getting him out was that, at different times, we've ratcheted up what we're saying in public. but we coordinated that with the others will have greater
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leverage in terms of moving him. having written a book on statecraft, i can say that an element of statecraft here, also realizing what you say in public, if you have other actors were key or pivotal in terms of helping you succeed in producing the outcome that you seek, you also have to orchestrate what you're saying in public and not surprise them. this is not the individual leader your working out. it is also whoever is part of the efforts in managing the transition. i do not have much to ride on what elliott said about jordan. i think the king now is more conscious of the need to try to
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carry out reforms that will be seen and not just from an outsider standpoint, but it has to be real. it is a tough nut to crack. the backbone of his regime also, as a recipient of about 80% of the revenues of the government. if your to open up the system and if you really create the kind of reforms that will allow jordan to force overtime, you have to manage the fact that they get 80% of the revenue now. you cannot have them go cold turkey without unleashing forces that you do not want to see happen. this is one of these cases where you can do a lot in a laboratory that seems to make sense. but in the real world, where you have to carry it out, it is a very hard process to orchestrate. i do think that the king has got
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allot in the last year about ways to create not only reforms, but also to demonstrate the reforms are real. he is looking at models much more than was the case before. and the moroccan model, in some respects, because both of these -- because they trace their lineage back to their profit, they have a lot in common. he goes to morocco with one potential model. the king of morocco is an interesting example of someone who did look at what was happening and decided that he had to get out in front of it. what has emerged there -- again, there will never be anything that works perfectly. but what has emerged there has some potential. at least i think the king of jordan is still trying to think that through. my sense is that he is genuinely wrestling with this and trying
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to proceed. but the context is a very difficult context. there are no simple answers for it. >> we may want to go to another question. >> ok. >> thank you for an excellent panel appeared one of the things i appreciated was how much each analyst takes a sincere role in religion. in recounting the story of the cia analyst ernie all may who, in the 1970's, religion as being very important in iran and said we had to look of this. but also he was ridiculed.
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how much in u.s. foreign policy shaped by a kind of widely shared secularism and they establishment. neither religion is irrational or irrelevant. is that still true today? >> we will try to make our answers more brief. [laughter] there is an issue of what is secularism. i had a conversation with condoleezza rice. i asked her, do you consider yourself a secularist? she said, no, i am a religious person. the french have a view that the
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state has to sit on religion to make sure that religion does not intrude on public life. that is a model that i do not buy. that is a model that i deny it -- that i do not think our country buys. and equidistance of all religions, but it tolerance of all religions. -- but a tolerance of all religions. i think the political establishment is somewhere between the american model and the french model. i think the american people are between the american model and perhaps something with a more active place for religion. i think the government has been conscious of that. from 1989-1983, i was at the pentagon.
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i used to talk with what the turkish establishment needed to provide a space for religious expression by the population. i think that is something americans broadly agree on and the diplomatic community agrees on. at various times, i think that is the model we have urged on countries. you have to provide a space for your citizens. president bush used to say it to the chinese your people, at the end of the day, will never feel thoughtfully satisfied and you'll never get the best out of your people if you do not allow some space for the exercise of religion and the exercise of the spirit. i think that is roughly where the united states government has been.
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>> i agree with what steve said. i do not think there is an impulse of people on the inside that has generalized you. -- generalized view. it is country by country. you have to look at the circumstances. i think the most analysts within the government do. i do not think they have a -- have an a priori view. having been someone who negotiated for a long time on is really issues, often times, i actually wanted to have religious/spiritual leaders to support the premise of tolerance and coexistence and speaking against violence. and i could not produce it ever. i recently met with an interfaith group from the area and it included israelis and
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palestinians. and for the first time, they said they would like to see if they can play a role. i said, you know, it is interesting. historically, that has not been the case. indeed, i recall that, in the year 2000, the pope made a tour throughout the middle east. his representative came and asked us and wanted to create an ecumenical meeting where they could reinforce the importance of tolerance and they put together a meeting in jerusalem and it was a complete disaster. so it was refreshing to see an interfaith group come in the area and want to promote something. in answer to your question, in
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my own experience, i did not view it as something that was at odds in peacemaking. although i did not want this, the to become a religious, but because and you could not settle it. i wanted religious spiritual leaders to see if they could enforce the values of tolerance, not violence, and coexistence. >> the gentleman in the back. >> two quick questions. what is the obama administration's view our assessment of libya moving forward? will democracy take hold in libya? if not, what are the challenges that prevent that? some have made the claim that the current administration is cooking the events in syria. what is your assessment there? >> dennis, i think that is to you. [laughter] >> first, i am not in the obama administration. i do not speak to the administration. they have plenty of spokespeople and i am not one of them.
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obviously, i was in the administration for most of what went on on libya, including the intervention and its aftermath. i think there is a continuing hope that what will emerge in libya is a government that is largely rep. it will be a government -- largely representative. it will be a government that is representative and inclusive. when you speak to the people who are in the administration verybya right now, they're much committed to trying to produce what would be a representative democracy.
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coming after gaddafi, in the absence of any institutions, is, in some ways, easier and harder. in other places, there are white i would describe as -- what i would describe as their sauce institutions. they're not real. and then you take them and try to reform them. and libya, you're trying to build something largely out of nothing. there is potential because of that. but there are all sorts of splits within the country. there is no doubt that the isthmus is trying to gain the upper hand. but when you talk to the people who are trying to manage the chains themselves, many of whom were educated here, they are incredibly impressive. they're certainly saying the right things. but the administration is looking forward to helping bolster them in a specific
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direction. i do not believe that would just came out or by design from the administration. they may reflect certain views within the intelligence community. it is not my belief that it represents the views of the administration. >> in october 17, 1989, george washington wrote a letter to morris in paris about the french revolution. the revolution is wonderful, but he also warned that is of too great a magnitude to be effective in short -- in so short of space and with the loss of so little blood. to run from one extreme to another is no easy matter. should this be the case, rocks and shells not currently president will rock muscles.
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-- rock vessels. i think back to washington -- going from one extreme back to another. his words on the french were right. today apply today? >> i can give you a firm may be. [laughter] we do not know yet. the changes in government began roughly a year ago. there are significant changes in many years with the regimes that were there, 20, 30, 40 years. we know from the experience that, for example, to uneasy and malaysia and others, islamists tend to do best in the first election. they have the opportunity to
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organize. in the eyes of many people in the country, they stand for integrity. they were not part of the old corrupt system. but then they get elected and they can produce in many cases. islam is not the answer. it does not create economic growth, jobs. then in the second and third elections, if there is one, then the tide tends to receive. when that happens, -- if it happens in tunisia, that means nothing over whether it'll happen in egypt or libya. >> in the egyptian revolution, almost all of the casualties were in the first 18 days of the revolt. and it was the government shooting at demonstrators.
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since that time, it has been a remarkably peaceful revolution. and they did have and conduct the freest and fairest election probably in the history of egypt. i think there are all the risks and it could all go south. but i think you have to give the egyptian people some credit for what they have done so far. and we ought to give them such help as we can and that they are willing to except. because it matters how this comes out. remember, there is another revolution that was made in the name of freedom and democracy in 1979 and that is the iranian revolution and it got hijacked. and it has been the principal problem in the middle east for the next 30 years. so how these revolutions come out matter to the people there and to us. that is why we need to provide such help as we can.
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>> i think is the beginning of the story. we are seeing chapter 1 of what will be at least a 10-chapter book that will emerge. we are not the authors of it. they are. and we have a huge stake in what happens there. i do not know what will happen. but i do not think that people suddenly found their voice will lose it. i think we have a huge stake in figuring out having standards of accountability. they do have to deliver. at this point, they are showing signs in egypt that they understand they have to deliver. i understand in tunisia. there was an interview that i read of a woman in cairo from one of the poorest districts. she said she voted for the muslim brotherhood because they
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were not corrupt and they built houses. if they get in there and they do not build any housing and tonight create jobs, i suspect there will have a problem. they have to have repeatable elections. and they have to have standards of accountability and we will see. >> the tolling of the bill tells me that we have another panel -- of the bell tells me that we have another panel. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> coming up, the campaign speeches from last night by mitt romney and rex santorum after the illinois primary. then "washington journal."
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